How Many Times Can I Reheat Food?

How Many Times Can I Reheat Food?

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Christine Gallary
Jul 31, 2015
Kitchen Fact on Reheating Foods
(Image credit: Henry Chen)

If you have a big pot of soup or a lot of leftover casserole, you can pat yourself on the back that you've now got a quick meal waiting in the fridge. But just how many times can you reheat those leftovers safely?

Kitchen Fact: While food can be safely reheated multiple times, the quality decreases each time. Reheat only what you plan to eat.

As long as you reheat the leftovers to at least 165°F each time, the food's technically safe to eat. However, the thing to keep in mind is that each reheat results in a decrease in the quality of the food: things get overcooked, dry out, or there's a big change in texture.

It's best practice to just reheat the amount you think you'll eat in one sitting and err on a smaller portion to begin with. Remember, you can always reheat more if you're still hungry!

Also remember that leftovers should be eaten with four days, so if you don't think you'll finish them within that time period, consider freezing the leftovers instead.

Kitchen Fact Sources: How many times can I reheat foods? at the Ask Karen portal of the USDA website

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